Static facing local, sports talk radio
Dwindling ad dollars, changing landscape, sinking industry
Good Morning, all. I hope your week is off to a great start.
Last week was a tough one for radio, especially sports talk radio. Audacy, which owns numerous stations across the country, wiped out the entire staff of its local sports talk stations in Milwaukee and Las Vegas, and made cuts at other stations it owns. Syndicated programming will replace the local sports talk.
Increased expenses and lower ad dollars, especially from the automobile industry, were the reasons given why Audacy made those cuts. But let’s not kid ourselves; how we consume our information is changing by the nano second.
Gannett, owner of several publications, including USA Today, also announced numerous job layoffs, as the newspaper industry continues to sink. For the first time ever, more people are streaming rather than watching programs via cable TV. All of this is why the sports industry (pick your sport) is signing one streaming deal after another.
It is not a coincidence that the head of Audacy announced one of the areas the company will pour more resources into is podcasting. It seems everyone has a podcast these days. (Heck, I have two of my own and co-host a third.) You Tube and other social media are areas also garnering much attention.
The media paradigm is fluid, but make no mistake, tradional media, such as radio and the newspapers, is on life support. (An AM station near me, which just a few years ago would have easily sold for close to $2M, was recently unloaded by its owners for just over $300,000. A local newspaper just raised its subscription rate 20 percent. We are canceling our hardcopy delivery.) The sports world is not blind to the changing landscape. For years the mega salaries dolled out to some might say overpaid athletes have been propped up by the cable TV revenue stream. The leagues and its players are fearful their entire system could tumble like a house of cards, thus the numerous streaming deals these sports leagues are negotiating. Their increasing cozy relationship with sports books is another effort to add revenue. By 2030, which is not that far away, we may not recognize what we are viewing compared to today.
A new 30-team MLB?
Speaking of You Tube, a channel entitled Baseball International, has produced a slick video, creating a 30-team Major League Baseball circuit, that is made up solely of cities currently not home to a Major League Baseball franchise. And if I may say so, myself, my city makes the cut. Enjoy!
LIV raid continues
By the time you read this, the announcement may have already been made, even though Cameron Smith has yet to announce anything, as he is in the running for the PGA Tour’s Fedex Cup $18M first place prize. But rumors are running rampant, that as the PGA wraps up its Fedex Cup playoff this weekend in Atlanta, Smith and six other golfers will be the latest to leave the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. An announcement could come this weekend, distracting from the PGA’s big event.
I’m sure many of you have read about the effort led by Tiger Woods to place a tourniquet on the PGA Tour and prevent the hemorrhaging of more stars signing up with LIV. But the war between the two golf entities is about to take another turn, and the latest chapter could be written very soon.
That is it for this week’s newsletter. As always, thank you for your support and have a terrific week.